Sea Wheeze Half Marathon Recap – Part 2

SeaWheeze medal

Sooo… where were we? Yesterday I left you at this past Friday night, the night before the SeaWheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver. After a big day of expo-going and exploring Vancouver, Lauren and I set our alarms for 5:30am on Saturday morning. We woke up bright and early in order to make sure we got enough fuel in our bodies and properly digested before heading to the starting line.

pre-race breakfast - Apple Cinnamon Breakfast bar and apple

My breakfast was one of my Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars, a Pink Lady apple, and water. After eating, we gathered our iPods, put our race chips on our shoes, and snapped a few pics of us smiling as we pretended like we didn’t have butterflies in our stomachs.

pre-race smile

Asics ready for racing

pre-race smiles

Then it was off to the Convention Center again to put our bags in the baggage check and line up in our corrals. There were 8 different corrals with pace beavers to help runners achieve any goal times between 1:30:00 and 3 hours. I lined up in the front one (the 1:30ish corral). Chip Wilson (Lululemon’s founder) shot the gun at 7:37am and before I knew it, we were off.

The beginning of the race went really smoothly. We were off so fast, and I couldn’t believe how fresh my legs felt. It was sort of like floating along…. until I realized about 300m out of the corral that my right shoe was untied. Rookie error! That never happens to me! I’m a habitual double-knotter so I’m not sure how I managed to forget, but I quickly pulled over and tied it. I jumped back into the pack I started with and carried along. The beginning of the route was hilly, but I was thankful that we got these parts out of the way before the half way mark.

A large amount of the 13.1 miles/21.1km passed quickly, thanks to the gorgeous scenery. This included the English Bay, the False Creek sea wall, Coal Harbour, and Stanley Park. There were plenty of spectators along the way, as well as cheer stations with everything from inflatable animals to bands to drag queens.

In the first half of the race, I knew I was running pretty fast. I calculated that if I wanted to break my PR of 1:33:02, I’d need to run every 7 km in just over 30 mins. I remember crossing the 8km mark at 0:34:00, and the 14km mark at 1:01:00, which I was really proud of considering the hilliest bits were out of the way. Although my ankle wasn’t giving me any issues at all, I started to notice around this time that something was pinching in the right side of my lower back. This felt worse on downhills, but I could definitely feel a dull pain with every foot strike. Between the 13-17km markers, we were running mostly along the sea wall, which was flat. My legs weren’t exhausted, but despite how hard I tried, I couldn’t forget about my lower back pain.

After finally coming up off of the sea wall path around kilometer 18, there was just a small stretch through Stanley Park and a few streets left to run. I tried my hardest to pick up my leg speed in the last kilometer, and finished with a solid time of 1:33:58, absolutely no gas left in the tank, and (because it was one of my August goals) a big smile on my face.

Crossing the finish line at SeaWheeze

After having my race medal put around my neck by a volunteer and gulping down a bottle of water that was given to me, I continued to walk around near the finish. However, I couldn’t help but notice as I slowed down that my back pain was getting even more intense. It was sharp and stabbing, making it difficult for me to shift weight over to my right side. My smile soon faded and I was in tears of pain as I walked to the nearby medical tent.

They put me down on a bed, took all my vitals (which were all normal) and then I was seen by a physio. After feeling around my back and asking me some questions, she said that the right side of my pelvis had somehow locked itself higher than the left side, which was causing bone-on-bone friction and a lot of inflammation. She also told me that I’d sprained my SI joint, and because I’d been running for an hour and a half, this obviously wasn’t helping the situation. I had no pain at all earlier that morning, but she figured that it could have been due to stepping awkwardly on a piece of uneven pavement or something similar during the race.

In order to try to ‘unlock’ the joint, she yanked my right leg really, really hard which caused an instant cracking noise. It hurt, but felt better immediately after. Still though, I couldn’t shift my weight easily and was still in a lot of pain. She did a few active release techniques, then gave me some ice and ibuprofen. I hobbled out of the tent to meet up with Lauren, who finished with an awesome time of 1:58, her first sub-2 hour half marathon. I’m so freaking proud of her!!!!!! πŸ™‚

Post-race celebrating at SeaWheeze

We picked up our bags at the baggage check and headed to the massage tables. Although my lower back was in agony, we still had massive smiles in our post-race celebration photos. With Lauren’s new PR and my very-close-to-PR time, we were thrilled with our races. Overall, I was…

  • 67th out of 5858 total runners
  • 19th out of 4729 women (clearly a very female-dominated race!)

SeaWheeze medal

Lauren and I, post-SeaWheeze

Can ya tell we like purple? πŸ˜‰ Even though I didn’t PR, that wasn’t my goal from the beginning. As you may remember, my plan was to finish pain-free (as in, ankle pain free) and smiling. I was thrilled to have run a 1:33:58, just under 1 minute slower than my PR, especially given the fact that I was only able to start adding long runs to my training 3 weeks ago, and because of my unfortunate pelvis-locking situation during the race.

SeaWheeze crowds

After soaking up the post-race atmosphere, we walked (very slowly, thanks to me) back to the hotel, picking up a boatload of refueling foods from the grocery store on the way. We had showers (one of the best in my life), ate, and sprawled out in our beds while watching the Olympics for a few hours before heading out to explore a little more of Vancouver.

waterfall downtown

Vancouver tourist!

waterfall sculpture

That afternoon, there was a concert for all SeaWheeze runners and the general public at Jack Poole Plaza. A west coast, Vancouver-based band called Hey Ocean opened…

Hey Ocean at SeaWheeze

… and the main act was fun., from New York. You’ve probably heard their songs Some Nights and We Are Young on the radio, and even though I can’t say I know any other songs on their album, they were really great live.

fun in concert at SeaWheeze

enjoying the SeaWheeze concert

After the concert, it was time for more food! We had reservations at The Boathouse in Kitsilano for that night, and Lauren and I were equally psyched to fill up on more yummies from the sea.

The Boathouse, Kitsilano

Waiting for dinner at The Boathouse

The restaurant was beautiful, and is located right on Kitsilano beach. There just happened to be a private party hosted by Lululemon in the bar area, and sadly our race wristbands wouldn’t get us into that, but we did get to see a very cool ice sculpture!

Lululemon Ice Sculpture

We couldn’t wait to get into the menus and ordered up some appetizers as soon as we could.

Boathouse Menu

Shrimp bowl

Those shrimp were gone in less than 2 minutes, but our main courses weren’t far away. I enjoyed some lovely coconut cod over veggies in a coconut broth, and loved the dish. My only complaint was that the fish was a little on the small side. I could have eaten 2 more!

Coconut cod

Lauren had the seafood grill, which looked amazing. There were crab-stuffed shrimp, a couple of scallops on skewers, and a salmon fillet. I kind of wish I’d ordered that dish, but she was gracious enough to share her shrimp. Thanks, Laur! πŸ™‚

Mixed grilled seafood

Enjoying dinner at The Boathouse, Kitsilano

As expected, we were exhausted after the day so it was early to bed for us.

Sunset in Kitsilano

We still had one more day left, and there were 2 places left on our agenda. I still wasn’t able to walk easily thanks to the pain in my back, but there was no way we were missing out on our final two stops.

lululemon lab

The first was the Lululemon Lab, located at 511 West Broadway. In case you’ve never heard of it before…

The lululemon lab is a conceptual design and retail space. It is a hub for innovation and functional fashion in Vancouver. The lab designs, produces and sells its own exclusive line of clothing. The line is created by our in-house design team and is rooted in the inspirations of both local and international trends.

The lab is committed to supporting and designing for our local community. By hosting design meetings, collecting feedback from our walk-in guests and collaborating on capsule collections, we create designs that are versatile, functional and unique to our space.

We are dedicated to elevating the talent of forward thinking minds. Always looking for new ways to push boundaries, innovate and continually think and act. The lab is paving the way for progressive ideas and design in Vancouver. (Source)

lululemon lab exterior

Cool, hey? The half-storefront, half design studio building was fairly small, but very neat to see nevertheless. The Lab is a dream of Chip Wilson’s, and some of the items you find in regular Lululemon locations are conceived here. All of the clothing in the lab for sale when we visited was either black, white, or gray, but there were plenty of signature Lulu neon fabrics and threads on the design side of the space. If you’re interested in learning more about The Lab, check out the FAQ.

Lululemon Lab

Our last stop was just around the corner, and it won’t surprise you that I felt compelled to go there. Another one of my favourite places that Lauren doesn’t have at home in Calgary is Whole Foods (I know, the horror, right!?) so that was our lunch destination.

Whole Foods Lunch

Whole Foods lunch in takeaway container

Ooh and do you want to see something cool? The Vancouver Whole Foods on West 8th Ave has a JUICE BAR!!!!

Whole Foods Juice Bar

They serve smoothies too, but we both really, really wanted a juice. Mine was called the Triple C (celery, cucumber, and carrots) with some kale blended in at the end, and a wheatgrass shot on the side. Lauren got the Cool Ruby, a blend of beets, cucumber, carrots and celery.

Whole Foods juices


drinking veggie juice

Annnnnd that’s about all, folks! That evening, I went out for a delish Indian meal (tandoori halibut… yummmm!) with my dad and one of his friends, but my camera was already packed so I have no photos to document it.

To round off, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for your massive support over the past couple of months. Thank you for your sympathy and well wishes for a speedy recovery from my Achilles tendinitis, for sharing your own running/racing/injury stories, and for all of your awesome encouragement. And with that, I’ll free you from what might be the longest post you’ve ever read on Eat Spin Run Repeat. Have a WONDERFUL day! πŸ™‚

31 thoughts on “Sea Wheeze Half Marathon Recap – Part 2

  1. Hows your back feeling now? I had a trapped never in my lower back on the left side and had two weeks of physio and 2 months off running before I was back normal, horrible pain. It’s always more scary when it’s your back!! well done on the time, miss speedy!!!

    1. Thanks Michelle! My back is still pretty sore. I can walk without limping but the pain is definitely still there so I’ve been taking some ibuprofen and am seeing my physio this week. He probably thought he’d seen the end of me after my Achilles treatments but I’m back for more! πŸ˜› You’re right, it is kinda scary… right now I’m being really, really careful when I lift things because that’s the first place I feel it. Running is out of the question right now (again), but hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon!

  2. SO AWESOME to read your race report, angela!! super huge congrats on your fantastic finishing time – way to go!! and i hope your back situation improves quickly.
    race day would be just about my perfect day: running, lulu and whole foods, really you could not find more fun activities!! and all in vancouver, to boot (gorgeous city).
    thanks for sharing all your photos and all about your experience. SO GLAD your ankle allowed you to run so well and have such a wonderful weekend with lauren and your dad.

  3. Loved both posts from your trip to Vancouver. I really want to visit that city one day soon. I would love to run that race too. Looks like a great time. Glad to hear your ankle/foot held up good for the race but very sorry to hear your back acted out. I have major back issues as well (which most likely was a factor in my PF a year ago). Seeing a chiro once a month really helps me. Hopefully it’s just a flair up and it will settle down soon so you can get back to healthy training again. Loved all the photo’s. Looks like amazing weather. Glad you had a great time πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve had the same SI joint pain— ART (Active Release) has been so key in helping me heal. It’s crazy because something small can change the way you walk/run/bike, which then creates new injuries to other body parts.
    Great finish time in your 1/2! Congrats– hope your back heals quickly!

    1. Oh I hear ya… I told the physio at the race about my Achilles tendinitis, and she figured that if I hadn’t hurt my foot prior to running, I might have felt this injury more in my Achilles than in my back. Either way, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a speedy recovery and no more injuries in the near future!

    1. Thank you Ashley! Vancouver IS gorgeous.. I’d love to go back. Everything about it just seemed so much more relaxed than home, even for such a big city. Maybe it was because I was on holiday, but still, I’m a big fan of east coast culture!

  5. What an impressive time…and through pain. You are such a motivator, Angela! Glad to hear you had a wonderful time – you certainly deserve it! xo

    1. Aw thank you Amanda! The medals were pretty cool – the green bit is actually a pair of shoelaces, and the metal part clips off and can be used as a zipper pull on a duffel bag or gym bag. Cool hey? This one won’t just be thrown into a box – I’m putting it to use!

  6. Congratulations – on your incredible race time AND for being such a trooper!! I don’t know many people that would’ve persisted through that and come out smiling! AMAZING!

  7. Congrats on your awesome time! You were in the top 1%! Wow! Such a bummer that you got hurt, though. πŸ™ You were such a trooper not to let it ruin the rest of your trip.

  8. I’ve enjoyed reading your trip recaps so much! Firstly, you deserve a big congrats on your race & finishing time. You are a speed demon and finished near the front of the pack! I’m so sorry to hear about your back pain…what awful luck, especially after coming off of your ankle injury. It sounds like it was such a random injury too. I think I’ve had a similar back pain after running before (it was just pinching a lot in the lower back on one side anyway) and I can only imagine how that felt during a race of all things. Hopefully with some rest and physio you’ll be back on your feet soon.
    Two more things to note: 1) Lulu LAB? that is so much fun!! I can’t wait to hear about the goodies you purchased. 2) Juice bars in WF – should be in ALL WF, don’t you think? I saw a couple while in the US and wished we had them back at home. I would get a juice every grocery trip! hah.
    Happy (early) birthday…I hope your back is feeling good for your big day tomorrow!

  9. Hey Ang…so proud of both you and Lauren for all that you accomplished over the weekend. I know you both had a blast and it is wonderful that two long time buds can connect in a way that was so important to the both of you. Kind of like your mom and I, right?? You two apples have not fallen far from the trees at all! Take care of your back and I am looking forward to the next time I see you to give you a big old hug! Congratulations again!


    Aunt J

    PS And happy 24th birthday!! (August 15 is the big day!)

  10. I’m impressed that you went OUT after your race. My first half, I fell asleep in the car for the 4 hour drive home, then parked myself in front of the TV for the rest of the day. Mad props.

    Sorry to hear about your back, I’m just happy it didn’t affect your race! So great that they had a fantastic group of medical staff on hand that were helpful!

  11. What an AWESOME run!! You ROCKED it, girl!! You are SO very inspirational and I thank you for that! I’m thinking and I say that lightly because I’m not a “runner”, but I have already verbalized it to the family, that I want to run the P.F. Chang’s Half Marathon here in Phoenix in January. I’m up to 3 miles a day, but have a ways to go. We’ll see. Reading your post REALLY motivated me though, so thank you, Angela.
    Sorry to hear that you weren’t pain-free during it, but happy to hear that you’re feeling better!

    1. Aw thanks so much Lynne!! It sounds like you’re making some great progress with your running, and I’m sure your mileage will be increasing in no time. Soon I bet 6 miles will feel like 3! Best of luck with your training, and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help! πŸ™‚

  12. I know you would rock the race, Ange (even with the back injury). What a bummer that that happened near the end of the race! Wishing you a quick and speedy recovery. Although I know you will get creative with your workouts in the meantime.

    Also, I am in love with the sweat once a day medal! That may be the best one I’ve ever seen! πŸ™‚

  13. Have you thought about seeing a chiropractor for your back pain? That is really scary, I hope you get better asap!! Congrats to both you and Lauren on such strong finishes!! Great, great job!!

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